Reaching out to students distressed by the pressure of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Tamil actor Suriya Sivakumar posted a video appealing to aspirants to not end their lives over exams and marks. In the video, the actor recalled his student days and the low marks he scored. Suriya told students that exams and marks alone don’t make lives.
The video message comes after three suicides by students in the last few days over the fear of failure in NEET 2021.
Explaining to students that there are still many things to achieve beyond such entrance exams, Suriya urged students to be confident and bold in life. The actor requested students to talk about their feeling to someone they love and trust and emphasised that the pain and hardship would go away soon. “This pain and fear would vanish in a short time. Ending life is a lifetime punishment you give to your parents and those who love you,” Suriya said in the video.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin recently vowed to continue the state’s legal battle for the abolishment of the entrance exam. The state assembly on September 13 passed a bill scrapping NEET and making way for the medical admissions on the basis of class 12 marks. However, the bill is yet to get President Ram Nath Kovind’s nod after which it can come into effect.
The govt has also launched toll-free helpline number ‘104’ to help students deal with the pressure of the NEET 2021 results. The counselling helpline was introduced on September 15. The CM had also asked parents to be more considerate to their children and said they should focus on instilling self-confidence in students instead of burdening them with any kind of expectation pressure.
Before NEET came into place in 2013, admission to medical courses in Tamil Nadu was conducted in two ways — on the basis of marks scored in Class 12 and institute-specific entrance exams.
Tamil Nadu was one of the states which opposed the implementation of the NEET which replaced the All India Pre-Medical Entrance Test (AIPMT) for all central and state colleges. Multiple petitions seeking exemption of Tamil Nadu from NEET were filed with the Supreme Court but all were turned down in 2017.